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Dear Cultural Advocates,

Tomorrow (Tuesday, December 5th) is anticipated to be an historic day for King County. The King County Council will be voting on the passage of Doors Open, the cultural access program that will serve 2.25 million people by providing transformative access to science, heritage, and arts programs.

At 1:30pm on December 5th, the King County Council will conduct a review of the amended legislation with discussion. They will then have the option to vote for final passage. If our momentum holds, Doors Open will be authorized with a unanimous vote. That would broadcast a mandate, an unambiguous championing of science, heritage, and arts programs throughout King County. Please consider joining us in Council Chambers and wear blue in support of Doors Open! You don't want to miss this historic event!

Not able to join us in-person? Watch the livestream by clicking here.

About attending the King County Council meeting in person

Date and Time: Tuesday, December 5th at 1:30pm. 

  • Please note that the agenda is packed, and Doors Open is 12th on the list of 18 agenda items.
  • If you arrive early, your chances of getting a seat in the main room are higher. There is also an overflow room where attendees can watch the meeting on a monitor. This is still a very exciting way to watch the victory and is a great option if you have to arrive late. However, if you can arrive early, we highly recommend it so that you can sit in the main room and celebrate with us face to face! 
  • Please wear blue to show your support for Doors Open!

Location: King County Council Chambers, 10th Floor (516 3rd Ave, Room 1001, Seattle) 

  • Please note that going through security at Council Chambers can take a while. Give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes for security just in case. 

A note about this meeting: 

  • Also on the meeting's agenda is an amendment to the Veterans and Human Services levy that would cut funding for field workers. This has inspired last-minute advocacy from folks in social services and we anticipate many of them to be there in person testifying as well. We wholeheartedly support their cause. Their testimonies will have a drastically different tone from the positive and grateful testimonies for Doors Open. Please be mindful and sensitive to this during the meeting. 

If all goes well, raise a glass with us on Tuesday, December 5th at 7pm at the Paramount Theatre lobby in downtown Seattle to honor the occasion. We realize this is last minute and on a weekday during the busy holiday season, so (fingers crossed!) we will plan a celebration in January to bring together everyone in the county to revel in the validation that our work is important and worthy of this transformative support! Again, assuming all goes as planned, we will share more details in the coming weeks regarding the county-wide celebration in January.


We imagine you may have lots of questions and we want to bring you up to speed. Join us for a briefing of the Doors Open program and an opportunity to ask anything of the Inspire WA team. To ensure good communications, our next Open Office Hour, will be on Tuesday, December 12th at 12:30-1:30 pm. Click here to register! And feel free to share this invitation with members of your team and community that need more information.

Our campaign's success is the culmination of nearly two decades of hard work and advocacy from a broad and diverse coalition of amazing partners. Thank you for being part of this incredible effort.

With optimism,

The Inspire WA Team

Manny Cawaling, Executive Director

Jessi Wasson, Programs and Operations Manager

Madeline Dalton, Advocacy Coordinator

Anna Tatelman, Annual Fund Manager

PS - It's not too late to advocate! If you haven’t yet, please send an email to your Councilmember urging Final Passage of Doors Open by clicking here. And, forward this Action Alert email to your networks of cultural supporters and encourage them to send an emails too.

Click to send an email to your coucilmember!

Votes & Amendments made to the

Doors Open Program

1st Vote, passed with 8 yeas and 0 nays: On Monday the 27th, the Regional Policy Committee (RPC) voted unanimously in favor of the Doors Open legislation after working diligently through a list of proposed amendments by members (please scroll down to see the list of ammendments). This was a wonderful achievement that sets us up for success by requiring only five votes for final passage from the Full King County Council, rather than six. Committee members represented a broad list of King County communities including Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, Redmond, Renton, Shoreline/Lake Forest Park, and Seattle to name a few.

2nd Vote, passed with 9 yeas and 0 nays: On Wednesday the 29th, King County Council's Committee of the Whole (COW) took public comment and reviewed the RPC's proposed amendments. They were adopted and the COW voted unanimously in favor of moving our transformative, cultural legislation out of committee for final passage at the next Full Council meeting. No additional amendments were introduced. We now have final legislation!


On Monday, November 27, the Regional Policy Committee met to deliberate on 11 amendments that were submitted by members of the Sound Cities Association and King County Council. The Committee gave each amendment thoughtful attention and determined which ones to adopt and which ones to pass. After friendly discussion, some amendments were respectfully withdrawn.

The following amendments were approved and adopted in the legislation.

  • Various technical amendments that address grammar and other non program related aspects to the legislation.
  • Adds that 2024 funding review panels shall include geographic and cultural diversity.
  • Would allow the 2024 one-time grant awards to be spent before approval of the implementation plan.
  • For the 2024 one-time capital and one-time operating grants, require at least 10% for cultural organizations serving vulnerable populations or located in census tracts ranked in certain percentiles on the Communities of Opportunity composite index.
  • For 2024, at least 25% would support cultural organizations outside established cultural centers
  • For 2025-2031, at least 25% would go to geographical areas that need additional cultural capacity (outside established cultural centers). Thereby, this reduces the approximately 75% countywide allocation to 72%.
  • For 2025-2031, at least 10% would go to support cultural organizations serving vulnerable populations or located in census tracts ranked in certain percentiles on the Communities of Opportunity composite index Now acts as a floor for grants.
  • Require that the implementation plan be mandatorily referred to RPC.
  • Require the Assessment Report to include Zip Code data.

ArtsFund's Community

Accelerator Grant 2024

ArtsFund is pleased to partner with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation on the second round of funding for the Community Accelerator Grant, a $10 million investment in Washington state’s arts and culture sector.

Administered by ArtsFund and funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, this program builds on the success of its 2023 pilot, which awarded 671 unrestricted grants, reaching 35 out of Washington’s 39 counties.

In 2024, the Community Accelerator Grant program will continue to provide unrestricted funding for cultural nonprofit organizations across Washington state. Funding will provide essential capital to Washington’s cultural organizations, including fiscally sponsored and tribal organizations, whose primary mission is to produce or support arts and cultural activities. The funds are intended to boost arts organizations’ ability to invest in their missions and essential roles serving communities across the state.

Applications for the 2024 program will run from February 5 to March 5, 2024. The process will again utilize a Community Advisory Panel, which will inform the application, outreach, and awardee slate. Further details about the application process, the advisory panel, and criteria will be shared in January of next year.

Visit for more info!

2024 WA State Legislative Session

Believe it or not, the 2024 Washington State Legislative Session is just around the corner and the Inspire WA team has been hard at work meeting with members of the legislature across the state in preparation for another great year for culture.

Manny and Jessi toured 22 cities across our state this summer and were inspired by your work and heard loud and clear the needs for continued new funding. We are excited by early conversations with our partners and look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks!

Statewide advocacy activities coming up:

  • SAVE THE DATE: Feb 7, 2024 - Arts, Heritage, and Science Day
  • District Teams: Our Outreach Coordinator, Madeline, will begin assembling district teams in a few weeks! Please email her if you are interested in participating: [email protected]
  • Legislative Agenda: Stay tuned for our announcement regarding the 2024 Cultural Sector Legislative Agenda and Virtual Rally!
  • Cultural Futures Report: We will soon be releasing the 2023 report based on our 2023 state tour. Take a look at the 2022 report in anticipation!

Join Inspire Washington!

We have worked tirelessly to represent your cultural programs and secure financial support, including the transformative Working Washington 5 grant program and the upcoming Covid Relief grants. But there's still so much left to do. Inspire Washington must remain visionary, ambitious, collaborative, and aggressive for the cultural sector. Please consider investing in our advocacy objectives by joining as an invested cultural partner. We exist because of the growing list of partners that pledge and pay dues every year. Like you, it's been a hard year for us so we ask you to seriously consider joining our circle. Click here to learn more

About Inspire Washington

Inspire Washington nurtures the human spirit and strengthens communities by increasing access to science, heritage, and arts programming through advocacy, resource development, education, and coalition building.

Inspire Washington

[email protected]

P.O. Box 806, Seattle, WA 98111

Manuel R. Cawaling, Executive Director: [email protected]

Jessi Wasson, Programs and Operations Manager: [email protected]

Anna Tatelman, Annual Fund Manager: [email protected]

Madeline Dalton, Outreach Coordinator: [email protected]

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